Carolyn Hax Live: 'It's just wine'

Nov 09, 2018

Advice columnist Carolyn Hax will be online to take your comments about her current advice column and any other questions you might have about the strange train we call life. Her answers may appear online or in an upcoming column.

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Hi everybody, happy Friday.

My husband, “Eric” and I accidentally offended my mother-in-law, “Gwen”. Eric's parents are very nice people but are pretty conservative. They had a party at their house a couple of weeks ago to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 21st birthday and I offered to go over early to help cook and set up. We arrived to a seemingly empty house which didn’t surprise us - Gwen had texted to say we should let ourselves in since she and my father-in-law had some errands to run. I immediately got busy in the kitchen and after a few minutes my husband came up behind me, started kissing my neck and saying some very graphic and sexual things. He does this often at home and as usual I was giggling about it. Suddenly we heard Gwen loudly clear her throat. Eric jumped back, apologized and explained that we didn't know she was home. I hoped she hadn’t heard too much but then during the party she was much icier to me than usual. I assumed it would blow over since we hadn’t actually done anything but she doesn’t seem to be getting over it. I saw her last weekend at my sister-in-law’s house and she barely spoke to me. Eric talked to her about it and she wants ME to apologize for us “violating her kitchen” that way. Apparently Eric’s not at fault but I am, being the woman who should know better while men can’t help themselves. That sexist attitude really bothers me and I am not inclined to indulge it. However, if this grudge of hers continues, it is going to make the holidays very awkward. What should I do?

Oh hell no.

"Eric talked to her about it and she wants ME to apologize for us 'violating her kitchen' that way. "

At which point Eric said to her, "Are you kidding me? You want my wife to apologize to you for something -I- did? Mom, that's not only unfair, but also shockingly sexist. I will not ask her to apologize and I suggest you don't, either." Right? He said that to her? Because if he didn't, then he is now the problem. 

Not to mention, the only thing I can think of that violates a kitchen is fake cheese. And marshmallows on sweet potatoes. And nondairy creamer. 


I am currently in the midst of an acrimonious breakup, after a 13 year relationship, but not marriage. He is living in his new apartment, but he has not moved out - he still has keys to our/my house. (I owned the house prior to our marriage, so yes it is mine.) And much of his possessions are still here. I'm working with a lawyer, who has advised me against changing the locks, as it is a sign of aggression and perhaps illegal eviction. Yet I can't tell you how many friends are questioning my judgment. I hear "just kick the bum out", "kick him to the curb", "change the locks and never talk to him again." When I tell them of the legal advice I've received, they second guess it. Or are they second guessing me? They assume that since there is no marriage, it is as easy as breaking up (in high school). Yet my lawyer assures me that the law could interpret 13 years in many ways. I'm fragile and hurt. And I'm very tired of being told by friends - who have no legal knowledge - what I should do AND that what I am doing is wrong. Any suggestions on how to respond? I'm getting angrier. Or should I listen to this overwhelming chorus?

"For people who never went to law school, you all have a lot of opinions on the law."

Then, nothing else. Close the subject as you wish--change the subject, walk away, leave, etc.

I'm really sorry your friends are adding to your pain instead of helping to relieve it.  If you've noticed any friends who haven't jumped on the advicewagon, or if there are some you know to be reasonable, then I urge you to talk to them one-on-one to let them know this is wearing on you and that you'd be really grateful for a friend or three who will just listen and/or trust that you're doing your best. 

Investing in the people who give you what you need is a good strategy anyway for when you're going through something tough. I hope the clouds lift for you soon.


Hi Carolyn, My spouse and our six year old do not get along at all. Much of their time together turns into six year old screaming and spouse withdrawing because they can't stand being yelled at. I feel stuck in the middle. Is there a way I can help?

Yes, by getting professional help asap. You and your husband both would benefit, either from a good family therapist or a reputable parenting class or both. Ask your child's pediatrician to recommend some providers and programs. If you can't afford counseling or if you live in a therapeutic desert and the first available appointment is in March, PEP is excellent and has online offerings now, LINK.

My husband just quit his job. Again. Third time this year, sixth in four years. He's sort of a jack of all trades, but mostly works in restaurants. I've always been the higher earner, so we're stable enough and I don't really mind about the irregular income. But it affects everything at home, every time: he's unhappy in the job, which brings down the atmosphere at home. Then he quits and feels insecure and tense about being jobless, so everything at home is also insecure and tense. Then he eventually gets a new job and things get better. Right now, we can't make Thanksgiving plans, for example, because who knows if he'll have to work and he won't have built up any vacation time. I tried to talk about after this most recent quitting, but our conversations about it have been unproductive, because he's so tense and ratty. We have no kids, and we learned from experience a few years back that he can't just stay home and not work, because that's so much worse than what we're going through now. Any suggestions?

A neuropsych screening, if he'll agree to it. Your question pings like an old pinball machine--jack-of-all-trade-ism, job-hopping, restaurant work, anxiety, ping, ping, ping. I'd guess there's a diagnosable condition in there driving a high need for stimulation and a low tolerance for tedious/repetitive tasks.

I'm not saying it's ADHD--layman, not my place--but, an ADHD information site, has a good section on evaluations here that would apply to anyone with a possible neuropsych issue: LINK

The point of a diagnosis would be less about fixing it, and more to help him understand how his mind works and how to make choices that suit his nature better.

For my whole 20s my parents were all to eager to hypothetically shield me from hypothetical life decisions that could hypothetically bite me in the ass. This included the idea of adopting alone, a serious relationship with a man who was divorced and had a child, career changes, etc. A few take aways 10 years later: 1) I later found out that while they were being super hard on me in person they were talking to friends and relatives about how proud they were of me. 2) When I turned 35 a switch flicked in their heads and they are now wondering when I'll settle down and have grandkids, because soon "it will be too late." Which makes me want to scream given the emotional hell they put me through in the past. Don't let other people define your life choices.

Great perspective, thanks.

Carolyn, Do you ever take questions that are not published on your forum? J

Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline,  1-800-273-8255, or use its chat feature:

Please also know that you don't have to deal with this alone, and that many people have felt this way before and have gotten through it. Just take care of yourself, please, and make the call. 

I was bullied for about ten years in school. Oh sure, my parents and school gave me all the tips and "conflict management" information on how to deal with it, including the consequences I would suffer if I got involved in a fight. I even had to see a counselor every week for an entire school year because of the bullying. But those strategies never worked. It's because the school and my parents had every incentive to put this on my shoulders so they didn't have to do anything, and without any adult intervention, my bullies had zero real consequences. Until one day in high school, one of my bullies caught me at a bad time. I dragged her face across a brick wall. A day later, I yelled at another bully in the middle of a busy hallway. Magically, those strategies permanently worked! Which is why I want to teach our kids how to (at the very least) fight. No, I don't want them to go around starting fights, but I do want them to know how to throw a punch and use ordinary things around them for weapons. As long as they're defending themselves and not instigating anything, I'll gladly pay any medical bills and stand up for them when school and other parents come calling. My husband, Mr. Popular/never-been-bullied, thinks this is horrific. He naively relies on the school to take care of bullying, even though I remind him that bullying almost always happens when adults aren't around and schools do not have an incentive to deal with it. I'm not against our children learning conflict resolution, but I also know that ending a fight with a big punch goes a long way towards actual conflict resolution than any handbook or counseling session ever could.

It's deceptively difficult to find an entry point into this question. 1. There's the fact that you and your husband are both right and both backing something horrific. 2. There's the fact that you're married and yet can't distance yourselves far enough from a deeply rooted part of each other's character. 3. There's my awkward position of not wanting to endorse a brick-wall face-rake as a solution to anything except a chat with too little blood in it so far, and not wanting to pretend that modern schooly conflict-resolution tactics never shield the bullies and hurt the victims. 

So ... can we make this all go away with martial arts? Think self-defense training with the ethics, discipline and self-confidence built in. Think marital harmony. Think kid fitness as a bonus. Think THIS.


I've been friends with "Dorothy" for many years. A couple years ago, her husband was laid off from his job, and Dorothy asked whether he could join us on our outings--about-town, such as movies and museum visits, etc. But I can take "Danny" only in small doses. He's very ... uh ... blunt and says things that are racially charged, personally intrusive. He does not approve of most of my friends or my adult children, and he even took my teen grandchild aside to tell her that if she's ever rude to me, he will punish her. (She's NOT rude, she's incredibly loving and spent a whole summer with me to help me at home while I was recovering from surgery, and she was mortified by this lecture, thinking she'd done something wrong.) My health is at a point right now that I can't really live alone for the time being, so my daughter has moved across the country to live with me and help out. At a party before my daughter arrived, my friend's husband went on an hourlong harangue on why this was a bad idea, my daughter is selfish and cruel, she's going to drain me financially, etc. His wife tried to tone this down, and others at the event also pushed back a bit. But I left the party abruptly and cried all the way home. I have pretty much stopped interacting with my friend Dorothy, because of course she shares my goings-on with Danny. My daughter's been here with me for two months and things have been wonderful. We're having a great time and my health is going well. I'd love to have lunch with my daughter and Dorothy, but Danny will undoubtedly come along, too (he has done that before when I was expecting a lunch with just Dorothy). Any advice on how to keep my friendship with Dorothy while artfully excluding Danny?

As hideous as Danny's behavior has been--"an hourlong harangue on why ... my daughter is selfish and cruel"?! wow--it is  a blessing, in one sense: It relieved you of any need to make your exclusion "artful."

Invite Dorothy, and then say, "Given the awful things Danny said about my daughter, he is not welcome. I realize this puts you in a difficult position, and it breaks my heart, but his accusations were the last straw after many years of his saying inappropriate things about my family and friends. You are my dear friend and I hope this doesn't come between us. In fact, I worry about you."

The only precursor to this is a decision on your part on which you'd rather have: Danny out of your life, even if it means losing Dorothy? Or Dorothy in your life, even if it means interacting with Danny. Your choice so far has been the former--you haven't seen Dorothy since Danny's most recent scene. But taking the stand will likely cement this choice as permanent, so make sure you're sure.

As I've typed this out, the "others ... pushed back a bit" has dogged me. Why has this guy been able to tyrannize so many of you so openly for so long? Meanwhile, Dorothy almost certainly needs a long talk with a domestic-abuse counselor. That's the only argument, to my mind, against drawing the no-Danny line. Dorothy needs her friends.

So many of us peanuts have been where you are. It can get better but you need help. We're all pulling for you today and holding you in our hearts as another peanut who is struggling.

Your answer to today's LW was very kind, very helpful. We lost our father this year, and I am dreading the holidays without him. Several of my siblings have stated that they are now hosting traditional holiday events. The problem is that I am not sure I even want to be there (and I've been told I have to). I was closer to my dad than my out-of-state siblings, who are now proposing parties that would require boarding the dog and arranging a hotel room for us, rather than our Christmas celebration at my dad's beautiful house, a ten minute car ride from here. The house has been sold and I miss my dad every day. I don't feel like a party. I don't want to put the dog in the kennel. And yet...I am not sure if staying apart from my siblings this year is selfish, tinged with self-pity, and something I'll regret.

I'm so sorry for your loss. 

It's okay not to go, and to spend your holiday tending to your grief. I would urge you to put some local commitments on your calendar so you have places to go, with quiet spaces in between as you need them, but it's fine if the essential framework of being home with dog, sans family, works for you. 

I'm not even sure what to do with "(and I've been told I have to)." That's just false physically, legally, emotionally and Christmasally.

Though if there's an element of worry to it, if they're afraid you're losing yourself to grief, then that's something else. It's worth asking one of them--pick the most honest and easygoing sib.

It's also important to parse your regret. Don't worry about regret for acting selfishly--you don't owe anyone your presence--but do give a thought to possible regrets for having missed out. If there's any chance some sibling time would be restorative, then that's when you weigh the idea of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.

If it's all just about their disappointment in your absence, though, and you're sure you still want out, then tell them this isn't a forever decision, it's just something you need this year. Tell them thanks, too, for rallying with celebrations of their own. That's a good thing even if it doesn't appeal to you now.

My husband of 11 years has struggled with anxiety and depression most of his life. For the first 10 years of our marriage, his family was close by so we always went to their house for Thanksgiving. Now, his parents have moved across the country and for the first time we're free to decide our own Turkey Day. We have a dog but no kids. My best friend from college lives about 90 minutes away and has invited us to spend the day with her immediate and extended family (not a massive group, maybe 10 people max). I would love to go, I don't relish the idea of a lonely Thanksgiving, but husband is uneasy. He thinks he would feel too anxious and trapped. He gets along well with my bestie and knows her husband and kiddo, but has never met any of the rest (I have, at kid's birthday parties). I do not want to go alone and leave him home with the dog. We're traveling cross-country to see his family for Christmas, so part of me really wants to yell that it's high time we did what I want to do for a year. But I also want to be understanding of his anxiety and the fact that this has been a rough year all around. Is there any compromise to be had?

Two cars? (With apologies to the earth.) If he has the ability to leave of his own accord, then it might not feel like a trap to him. Maybe even enough that he doesn't actually have to leave. A hotel room nearby could serve the same escape-hatch purpose, even though they're close enough for a day trip. 

It is fine, by the way, to spell out that you'd like him to come through for you here. The "I don't ask a lot, but I'm asking for this" speech definitely has its place in a marriage. Once you have a clear and strong feeling on something, it's going to come out one way or another. Count on it. And it's much healthier in the form of a before-the-fact request than of after-the-fact resentment.  


As a woman with a large bosom who developed very early in life, I’ve heard every rude comment and catcall you can imagine. I try to avoid men who act life I’m a pair of breasts that just happen to be attached to a woman. I’ve recently started dating a guy, “Rob” who moved into my building over the summer and who I was desperately flirting with for weeks. I was thrilled when he asked me out and we’ve been having a great time together and I was really looking forward to our next date – until the other night. I was heading into the laundry room when I heard Rob telling the new tenant that he was dating me and when the man asked who I was, Rob said, “You have to know who she is – she’s the one with the huge…” and then he used a disrespectful and vulgar euphemism for my breasts. When he saw me he looked a little guilty and I could see he was trying to figure out if I’d overheard. I didn’t say anything and pretended everything was okay while I tried to figure out what to do. My best friend (who is a man) says that Rob didn’t do anything wrong, that almost every guy in the world says stuff like that and that what matters is how he treats me in person. Is my friend right? Am I’m expecting too much of Rob? I’m just so disappointed in him right now and I’m ready to break it off but up until now, he did seem so right for me.

Just because almost every guy in the world says stuff like that doesn't mean it's not demeaning. 

And just because it's demeaning doesn't mean you have to break up with him. (I recommend it, though, if he no longer seems "so right for me," for this or any other reason).

I also don't like the use of "expecting too much" as a gauge for what to do next. There's what you want, what feels right to you, what feels safe, what feels good. If Rob isn't those things, now or at any other point, then no more Rob. 

If over time you find no one is ever those things, then, sure, tackle your expectations as a part of your emotional makeup that isn't working and needs some closer attention. But don't date one specific guy just because one specific friend tells you he's the best you can do.

I wish you had said something to him on the spot to show him the full consequences of his choices. There's no substitute for a "This is how I just treated someone I care about" aha moment, assuming of course he does care about you as more than an object, which is a risk always and not just because of your chest. His response to your confronting him would probably tell you a lot.

So tell him now. See what he says. Make up your mind from there.


Two other things I meant to add:

Anyone deciding on what to do has to think about how he or she talks about other people. It's not as if men have a monopoly on objectification. The degree matters, too. Referring to the hot person and referring to the person with [vulgar word for whatever body part] is objectification either way, but a person can legitimately see only one as over the line.

Context counts, too. Things said in the company of a best friend in the sanctity of a moving vehicle with the windows rolled up are different from things tossed out to some new guy in the laundry room. It is actually, saying this with a straight face, a matter of respect. 

Finally ... okay, three things, though this is just to underscore an earlier part of my answer: This is all just thought-exercise material for someone still unsure of what to do. Anyone who would gladly break up over it or laugh and shake it off needs no permission from me.

Why doesn't Husband plan to leave the party after an hour or so, and come back towards the end to drive Wife home? There are typically some public areas open. My brother and I always go see a movie on Thanksgiving. The movie theater is in a mall, so even though the stores are closed, the space is open and warm.

That works too, thanks, though he might not feel comfortable asking for it. Prepping the hosts for his stepping away would help but he might not even be okay with that. 

Which is why I'm glad we talk about stuff like this here. The less we react, the better. Thanks.


I care for you. I don't know you and I want you to live. Please make the call! Sending you a big internet hug (or whatever you need)

Hi Carolyn! I've been thinking of taking a wine class, something I've wanted to do for many years, but I keep finding myself paralyzed by the prospect of actually DOING it. I keep thinking - What if I get to the class and everyone else there is already an experienced oenophile? What if they're all already friends and I'm the odd man out? I don't usually experience this kind of anxiety about trying new things, but I have a lot riding on this (recent divorce, death of very close friend, trying to rebuild my former social life) and maybe my expectations are just too high.

Actually, you have no more riding on this than at any other time in your life. It's just a class. It's just wine. And worst case, it's just feeling out of place for an hour or so.

What's different now is that it *feels* as if there's more riding on it. And that's valid, because you feel it, but it's still dread of a reality and not reality itself. Your future happiness does *not* depend on this class. Your fondness for or access to wine doesn't even depend on it, mercifully.

You're not making wine, either--an objective thing--you're just appreciating it. Totally subjective.

It might make you feel better to call the instructor beforehand, to introduce yourself and say you have concerns about the appropriateness of the class for a newcomer. That's what I did when I balked at starting yoga, worried I'd be the lone breadstick in a roomful of noodles.

The men in my life fall into two categories - those who think "all men say stuff that like, it's not a big deal" and those who think "some other men say stuff like that, it's gross, I don't hang out with those guys". My boyfriend and close friend are all in the latter camp (or at least convincingly claim to be). They are out there, men who don't talk about women like meat. It's also worth mentioning that your best friend's response means that he probably talks like that about women when they aren't around. Does that change how you look at him?

Love this, thank you.

For me, this falls squarely within "when someone shows you who they are, believe them."

Depression has a devious way of making things seem real that are actually false. You might genuinely feel like you've never been happy and only remember sadness when there have actually been lots of happy times. It definitely will make you feel like there are no good options when there is actually a whole world full of them. Keep this in mind and focus on one step at a time toward finding your way out of this.

Yesssss. Depression lies. Thank you for the important reminder.

I have been in this position. It sometimes helps to go outside the house and walk in the park. Kids and dogs can make you temporarily cheer you up. It might feel like a band-aid over a bullet hole but please try to fight the darkness.

Thank you. The walking helps too.

I've got a lot of great comments to post on a few topics--will push out a bunch about each before I go.

Is there a reason you assumed the spouse who did not get along with the six year old was a husband? The question writer seemed to avoid specifying gender deliberately.

Thanks for the catch. I'm guessing two biases: That the LW was female and the couple is hetero. These are majorities in both cases, which is why I often default to them, but default is my fault. I will try to be more careful.

She wasn't a great cook, obviously! But a wonderful person. So I can't think of it as a violation. Now you've got me crying.

Now look what I've done. I'm sorry.

"Gwen is in a snit because she caught Eric kissing my neck when we had come over to help with a party," has the advantage of being entirely true (whatever else your husband was saying to you is nobody's business and Gwen doesn't sound like the type to repeat it), and to make you look entirely in the right if anyone asks why Gwen is ignoring you. As long as it is ignoring, I say let her be upset. You sounds like you are fairly young with a just turned 21 brother-in-law. The concept that you and your husband have a physical relationship that you occasionally talk about should not be offensive to your mother-in-law. Where does she think grandchildren come from, anyway

What you left out is putting pressure on the school to stop the bullies and the bullies to be better. Punching someone stops the bullying for now. But it doesn't make either party better people.

Isn't teaching the kid to fight just another way of putting the problem on the kid's shoulders? This has to start and end with the parents, either working with the school for a solution or moving the kid elsewhere. And the LW's resentment of her husband seems to be shading off into its own form of bullying, sarcastically calling him names and dismissing his life experience.

Three things stood out to me: (1) chatter seems very bitter about advice from parents and teachers and remembers this with remarkable clarity all these years later. I strongly suggest seeking therapy to get to a much healthier mental place. (2) chatter was very dismissive of her husband’s “Mr. Popularity” identify. He’s a parent, too, and deserves more respect than chatter is giving him and (3) her kids might not even be bullied.

OP didn't stop her bullying because she suddenly picked up fighting skills, it happened because she stood up to the bullies (one of them vocally and non-violently). Teach your kids to stand up for themselves as that skill is much more useful.

This triggered an old memory for me. My in-laws probably hold similar views, and they were quite insistent about grandkids as soon as my spouse and I got married. After one too many "don't you think you're getting a little old to start a family" (at 26!) comments at dinner, I finally broke down and shouted "If you're hellbent on this, we can get started right here as soon as the table gets cleared!" Never heard another peep. Oh, and any husband who puts the "apology" (geez) on his wife hasn't fallen very far from the tree, I'm afraid.

Nice thread-tie for standing up for oneself.

... and yeah. Let's hope there's hope for the apple.

Whoa, way before the hourlong harangue about OP's daughter, Danny the Blunt Friend-in-Law threatened to punish her granddaughter for hypothetical rudeness. THREATENED. TO "PUNISH." SOMEONE ELSE'S. GRANDDAUGHTER. None of you ever has to spend another minute with Danny if you don't want, and I'm with Carolyn on the end of the response: That includes Dorothy. Are you sure she's okay?

I think the OP can and should still draw the no-Danny line, with a healthy dose of "and Dorothy, I am always here for you if you need me." You can't make Dorothy go to a counselor, but you can be ready to take a 2 AM call when she's leaving him and needs a safe place to stay.

And you know what? They fought back against me. And there were more of them. And they were stronger. Bullying is characterized by a power imbalance. Fighting back might work sometimes, but it can also put you in further danger. If there were a one-size-fits-all solution to these problems, they wouldn't be so persistent.


Please know that how you are feeling does not have to be permanent. I don't want to make light of your situation, as I know life can be extremely difficult at times, and in the moment, we sometimes don't think we can get through it. I also went through a time when I thought I was not so sure that keeping on living was worth it. But also please know that we are wired to overcome even the most tragic circumstances, and to find meaning and pleasure again, if we have the patience to keep going through the darkness until we see light again. It happened for me, and I am so glad I am here now. Don't give up.

Please also reach out to friends or family. If any of your friends have also suffered from depression, they would be good people to start with. I recently called the depression hotline because I was concerned about my partner, and for me, talking to friends who had some experience with depression or thoughts of suicide were a lot more helpful. The hotline can be a great resource, but there are other options too. Please just reach out to someone. You may be surprised how much others can relate to your feelings.

You CAN do better. You CAN expect better. Sure, I have male friends who might say something like that in a bar--but they are the minority. The vast majority of men I associate with never would, no matter their audience. This is a low bar. Insultingly low to the right person.

Contrary to your friend's advice, I need to trust my partner to not insult me - to my face or behind my back.

Speaking as a guy, there's no nice way to say this but here goes - While a lot of men wouldn't admit to it, many of us have at least occasionally, said something like that. But most men I know would rarely say something like that about a woman they like and respect.

I can HEAR you reading the supportive posts and thinking "well, if they really knew me, they wouldn't want to support me." Your brain is lying to you. It is not in possession of all the facts. I *guarantee* if any of us really knew you (and the odds are actually not bad that someone here DOES know you), we would be saying the same things. But personalized. Don't believe the lies in your head. Be well, friend.

It gets better. Really. Don't you want to know how everything comes out? Make the call, get some help.

Remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Things can and do get better. You now have total strangers who care about you and are very concerned. Get help please. You are worthy of a happy life.

Oh how I've been there. Depression led me to fail at many things. When I was in the throes of it, it truly felt like there was no way forward. Other people would talk about depression, but I'd think, yeah, but I actually f'd everything up. My failures caused harm at work, and the harms seemed insurmountable and unforgivable. But I'm still here, and have found that there *is* a way forward no matter what. It's still hard, but I'm glad I'm chose to live. I hope you do too. You're worth it. You deserve to live.

If you're not sure, please stick with us. Call the hotline - I did - they are wonderful people. Also, if you're not sure, you can always change your mind. Once you do the deed, there's no going back. Love

Thank you everyone, particularly for sharing your own experiences with getting help. It feels so extreme and lonely but it's common to so many.

That's all for today. Thank you for stopping by and again for all the warm and helpful comments. 

I'll be chatting next Friday but not the Friday after Thanksgiving. I'm thinking of Dec. 7 for the Hoot--look for confirmation in an upcoming chat.

In This Chat
Carolyn Hax
Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997 as a weekly feature for The Washington Post, accompanied by the work of "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis. The column has since gone daily and into syndication, where it appears in over 200 newspapers. Carolyn joined The Post in 1992 as a copy editor in Style, and became a news editor before turning to writing full-time. She is the author of "Tell Me About It" (Miramax, 2001), and the host of a live online discussion on Fridays at noon on She lives in New England with her husband and their three boys.
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